Pato O’Ward says he did everything he could to win the 2021 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, but his efforts saw him fall short of the podium in fourth place.
The Arrow McLaren SP driver was involved in the battle for the lead for much of the race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but he did not have an answer to the pace of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou or eventual winner Helio Castroneves of Meyer Shank Racing when it mattered at the end.
Ultimately, a charging Simon Pagenaud denied O’Ward the final spot on the podium on the final lap, much to the chagrin of the Mexican, and he knows the team will have to work harder next year to make another step forward.
“The 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is complete and we finished fourth,” said O’Ward on ArrowMcLarenSP.com. “We were in the fight all day.
“I think we had a perfect race, we just weren’t fast enough in the end. When they let us loose, I couldn’t quite catch Alex [Palou] and Helio [Castroneves]. We’ve got work to do for when we come back next year.”
O’Ward admits it was disappointing to lose the final place on the podium on the final lap to Team Penske’s Pagenaud, but he is hoping to get back into the top three when the NTT IndyCar Series season resumes in two weeks time around the streets of Detroit.
“Obviously, it burns a little bit to lose the third position in the last lap, but I was trying everything I could to try and win this thing for the Arrow McLaren SP team,” admitted O’Ward.
“We will come back next race and hopefully do better. We should be very proud of the work we did but there is definitely more to be done.”